5 Tips to Improve Gender Diversity in Your Recruiting Pipeline

5 Tips to Improve Gender Diversity in Your Recruiting Pipeline

Getting a nice even balance of male and female applicants should be a given. However, this isn’t always the case with gender diversity still a real issue in many industries.

While Gender Insights Report reveals that women are just as open to new opportunities as men and also see the new job ads posted, the latter are more likely to take action.

In fact, LinkedIn’s data shows that women are 16% less likely than a man to apply for a job that they’ve viewed – which is often because they don’t feel like they’re 100% qualified to fulfil the requirements of the role.

Plus, with a woman’s chances of being hired essentially zero if she is the only shortlisted for a role, it’s important that businesses start focusing on establishing a healthy gender balance.

To ensure you’re attracting a nice equal number of applicants from both sexes, here are some simple steps to help create and maintain more gender balance in your recruitment pipeline.

Analyse what you’ve got

Before you can start transforming the way you approach your hiring process, you need to think about what employees you’ve already got in the business.

Take a look at your company’s data to get a clear idea of your overall gender split. Once you’ve got this figure, you can then break it down even further across specific departments and level of seniority.

If your company has a lot of male managers, perhaps it’s time to focus on getting more female applicants for these jobs.

For complete ease, LinkedIn Talent Insights allows you to assess the breakdown of your employees in a matter of seconds.

Improve your brand

The Gender Insight Report discovered that men and women are almost equally likely to do their research on your culture first – with 41% of women and 42% of men taking to LinkedIn to research your company before hitting apply.

With this in mind, it’s essential that you come across as a diverse company in your branding. This includes everything from your social media posts, right through to your ‘Meet the team’ section on your website.

Do your workplace videos contain a nice balance of women and men in them? Are there just male faces on your website?

The way you present your brand will ultimately make the applicant decide whether they want to work for you or not.

Work on your job ad content

Making sure your business’ brand is positively perceived also involves what kind of information you include in your job adverts too. Words like ‘outspoken’ and ‘rock star’ have masculine connotations, which will be enough to put a woman off from applying.

You should always read through your job advert multiple times to make sure you haven’t included any off-putting language. If you need any help identifying gender-specific words and phrases, check out Textio. This writing platform will highlight them for you.

The job requirements section in the advert is another vital element too as a majority of women feel like they need to meet more qualifications than men to have a chance of landing the job.

So, it might be worth removing the non-essential requirements from the ‘essentials’, otherwise, you could be damaging your pipeline. Instead, place these in a “nice to have” section.  

Including detailed seniority requirements are recognised as a serious put off to females as well with a representation shortage at C-suite level.

As an alternative, go into more detail about the daily tasks that are part and parcel with the job. Female candidates can then decide whether they’re qualified or not based on the actual day-to-day requirements then.

Include salary ranges and flexibility perks

According to LinkedIn, 68% of women say that it’s imperative that an employer includes a salary range in the job description.

This largely boils down to the fact that gender pay gaps sadly still exist in some industries. However, by including the salary range in the advert, you’ll establish a level of trust with the female candidate and let them know that you are a fair employer.

Providing flexible working options in the job description can be another defining difference between them applying and not as well. In particular, new mothers may need this to continue seeing to their family’s needs.

Adapt as you go

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is to simply run a recruitment campaign and then stop to analyse the facts once it’s finished.

As the search goes on, you should be breaking down the number of applicants and visitors by gender. At least you can rectify any immediate issues or split test something as you go to give yourself a better analysis.

It’s worth noting that referrals can cause an issue in the pipeline too. You see, male employees are more likely to recommend other men who are similar to themselves – which is a problem if your business already has a shortage of female employees.

To rectify this, you should try educating your employees about your company’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives. This way, they might start thinking more broadly when they go to refer someone.

Another cool feature to use as you go is LinkedIn Recruiter. This allows you to track the performance of your InMails by gender, therefore, giving you conclusive evidence of whether women are more likely to respond than men.  

Final thoughts

Remember, improving your pipeline from the outset can make things a lot easier down the line.

Whether a candidate is male or female, the bottom line is that by putting off a particular sex, you might be missing out on some of the industry’s best talent.

Is this a risk you’re willing to take?

Take your time to address each element of your recruitment process and you’ll soon start building a strong, well-balanced team of employees who can help your business thrive.

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